Her Body and Other Parties: Stories (Paperback)
October 2017 Indie Next List
“Reading the stories in Her Body and Other Parties has been among the greatest literary pleasures of 2017 for me. Carmen Maria Machado writes with fearless exploration, precision, and tenderness, which would prompt envy if gratitude and admiration weren't first to arrive on scene. From the lovely apocalyptic love story 'Inventory' to the dizzying and original 'Especially Heinous,' Machado's work is curious, inventive, and thrilling. It's feminist and pop culture, classic and weird; the stories are complex and the characters are haunting. What a debut!”
— Chorel Centers, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
A highly anticipated debut by "one of the most ferociously gifted young writers working today" (Michelle Huneven)
In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.
A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store's prom dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella "Especially Heinous," Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naively assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.
Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.
About the Author
Carmen Maria Machado's work has appeared in Granta, The New Yorker, NPR, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Nebula Award and a Shirley Jackson Award, and was a finalist for the Calvino Prize. She lives in Philadelphia.